Skip to main content

Full text of "Professor John Duncan (1796-1870)"

See other formats

Professor  John  Duncan  (1796-1870) 

JAMES  BARR,  M.A.,  B.D.,  D.D.,  F.B.A. 

Although  John  Duncan  was  a predecessor  of  mine,  I have  to  admit  that  I 
never  knew  very  much  about  him,  and  what  I have  to  say  today  depends 
very  largely  on  what  I have  been  able  to  glean  from  the  familiar  printed 
sources  and  works  of  reference.1  Some  anecdotes  circulated  in  New 
College  when  I was  a student;  I remember  James  S.  Stewart  telling  one. 
According  to  this  story,  it  was  rumoured  among  the  students  that 
Duncan,  being  exceptionally  learned,  said  his  personal  prayers  in 
Hebrew,  and  a group  of  students  stole  up  quietly  to  the  door  in  order  to 
listen  to  this  phenomenon.  What  they  heard  was  Duncan  saying, 
“Gentle  Jesus,  meek  and  mild,  look  upon  a little  child”.  Stories  of  that 
kind  are  typical  of  the  Duncan  tradition. 

What  I have  been  unable  to  discover  is  where  and  from  whom  he 
learned  his  Hebrew  in  the  first  place.  As  is  well  known,  he  wrote  very 
little,  and  most  of  his  output  is  in  the  form  of  aphorisms  and  short 
speeches  collected  by  friends  and  admirers.  In  the  most  quoted  such 
volume,  the  Colloquia  Peripatetica  (sub-titled  Deep-Sea  Soundings ), 
edited  by  William  Knight  (1870),  there  is  practically  no  mention  or 
citation  of  any  Hebrew  word,  while  Greek  is  fairly  common."  In  1839 

This  is  the  original  text  of  the  “Words  of  Remembrance”  spoken  by  Professor  James 
Barr  at  the  Rededication  of  Duncan’s  gravestone  in  the  Grange  Cemetery,  Edinburgh,  4 
July  1996.  An  edited  and  abbreviated  form,  lacking  the  footnotes,  was  published  in  New 
College  (Edinburgh)  Bulletin , Anniversary  Issue,  1996.  I want  to  express  my  especial 
gratitude  to  Mr  David  F.  Wright  for  his  swift  and  valuable  aid  in  making  literature 
accessible  to  me,  as  well  as  for  much  understanding  and  kindness  in  all  arrangements  for 

the  ceremony. 


The  same  is  true  of  the  “Miscellaneous  Sayings”  collected  in  D.  Brown,  Life  of  the 
late  John  Duncan,  LL.D.  (Edinburgh,  1872),  400-32.  One  saying  quoted  in  Brown,  John 
Duncan,  404.  reads:  “ The  Greek  and  Hebrew  minds.  - “The  Greek  mind  was  abstract; 
the  Hebrew  concrete”  - not  so  very  original  a thought,  but  perhaps  one  that  agrees  with 
Duncan’s  own  strong  tendency  towards  the  abstract.  Again  Brown,  John  Duncan,  405: 
“The  Hebrew  language  is  peculiarly  rich  in  religious-moral  terms,  though  scantly  enough 
in  others.  The  reason  is  evident,  it  chronicled  a Revelation”.  There  is  nothing  special  or 
profound  in  this.  Cf..  W.  Knight,  Colloquia  Peripatetica  (Deep-Sea  Soundings)  being 
Notes  of  Conversations  by  the  late  John  Duncan,  Ll.D.,  with  the  Rev.  William  Knight 


he  applied  for  the  Hebrew  chair  of  the  University  of  Glasgow,  the 
previous  professor  having  been  moved  to  the  chair  of  Moral 
Philosophy.  In  his  letter  of  application  he  stated  that  “for  upwards  of 
fifteen  years  I have  been  a daily  and  delighted  student  of  the  Hebrew 
Bible,  and  during  the  last  I have  contracted  a pretty  intimate 
acquaintance  with  the  principal  Rabbinical  writers”.  He  added  that  he 
had  done  studies  in  Syriac,  Arabic,  Persian  (“a  long  time  ago”), 
Sanskrit,  Bengali,  Hindustani  and  Mahratti,  though  in  some  of  these  he 
claimed  no  more  than  to  have  looked  into  the  Gospels  in  that  language. 
He  was  not  appointed  to  that  Glasgow  chair  but  anyway,  if  we  may 
reckon  back  his  devotion  to  Hebrew,  fifteen  years  would  take  us  to 
around  1 824.  It  was  then,  when  he  was  a student  in  the  Divinity  Hall  of 
the  Established  Church  (he  began,  of  course,  in  the  Secession,  moved 
early  to  the  Church  of  Scotland,  and  at  the  Disruption,  as  we  know, 
opted  for  the  Free  Church)  that  much  of  his  study  must  have  been  done. 
“Hebrew  was  his  chief  delight  at  this  time,  and  with  it  the  cognate 
tongues”,  writes  David  Brown  of  this  period;3  one  can  understand  it, 
perhaps,  for  Duncan,  though  ending  up  as  a pillar  of  pious  orthodoxy, 
had  gone  through  numerous  changes  and  conversions,  being  at  various 
times  an  atheist,  a Sabellian,  a Unitarian,  a theist  who  was  not 
“converted  to  God”  and  so  on.  It  looks  as  if  this  time  of  quiet  belief  and 
religiosity,  when  he  was  “converted  to  theism  but  not  to  God,  to 

(Edinburgh,  1873),  80,  where  we  hear  that  “the  Shemitic  mind  is  more  receptive  than 
imaginative.  It  seems  to  have  received  a gift  from  above,  and  preserved  it,  for  it  was  not 
creative  like  the  Greek  mind”.  In  comparisons  of  language  and  intellect,  Duncan  was 
more  interested  in  the  difference  between  Plato  and  Aristotle  (e.g.  Colloquia , 23f.)  than 
in  that  between  Greek  and  Hebrew.  Again,  in  his  Inaugural  Lecture  “The  Theology  of  the 
Old  Testament”,  though  the  importance  of  Hebrew  study  is  emphasized  as  one  would 
expect,  the  lecture  contains  no  reference  to  any  Hebrew  word  apart  from  one  phrase 
cited,  but  hardly  commented  on,  on  p.  137;  while  Greek  is  much  more  obvious:  for 
instance,  on  p.  136,  where  Duncan  says  that  sin  “not  only  deserves  orge,  but  is  in  itself 
echthra”,  he  uses  the  Greek  words  and  makes  no  mention  of  the  Hebrew  terms  that 
might  be  relevant. 

Brown,  John  Duncan,  83.  Cf.  “The  Theology  of  the  Old  Testament"  , which 
expresses  (p.  1 24)  the  wish  that  two  sessions  might  be  devoted  entirely  to  exegesis,  to  the 
study  of  Jewish  antiquities,  and  to  “ the  acquiring  of  such  acquaintance  with  the 
languages  cognate  to  Hebrew,  as  is  needful  to  a full  and  scholar-like  knowledge  of  that 
ancient  tongue ” (my  italics). 


Christianity  but  not  to  Christ’4  may  have  favoured  his  linguistic  studies 
well.  Though  still  in  a sort  of  student  status,  he  was  trying  to  assemble  a 
small  group  to  study  Hebrew  with  him.  I suspect  he  was  basically  self- 
taught.5  He  was  a language-learner  rather  than  a linguistic  scholar.6 

However  he  learned  his  Hebrew,  all  voices  agree  that  he  taught  it 
badly.  The  College  eventually  appointed  A.B.  Davidson  as  coadjutor 
and  later  successor  because  it  was  recognized  that  Duncan  was 
“impossible”  at  this.7  One  reason  for  this  was  that,  though  he  came 

4 Chapter  heading  of  Brown,  John  Duncan , 7 1 . 

5 He  could  have  learned  some  Hebrew  in  the  course  of  his  early  studies  at  Marischal 
College,  Aberdeen,  but  I have  not  seen  any  evidence  of  it.  Part  of  the  reasoning  behind 
his  long  letter  of  application  for  the  Glasgow  professorship  was  the  fact  that  he  had  no 
one  to  write  a certificate  for  him,  which  I take  to  imply  that  he  had  no  authorized  teacher 
to  write  a recommendation  for  him. 

6 “Through  life  languages  were  a passion  with  him,  and  none  came  amiss  to  him, 
however  remote  from  those  usually  studied,  and  whether  likely  or  not  to  be  of  practical 
use  to  him”  (Brown,  John  Duncan,  84).  Among  such  languages  were  “a  Turkish 
grammar”  which  he  was  “engaged  in  writing  for  the  troops  in  the  Crimea”  {ibid.,  100); 
for  Gaelic  “he  attached  himself  to  some  of  the  Highland  students,  that  he  might  acquire 
some  knowledge  of  the  Gaelic  language”,  ibid.,  93  (with  Gaelic  he  seems  to  have  had 
little  success);  he  “hunted  out  the  Ethiopic  and  Armenian  alphabets,  had  got  hold  of  the 
principal  verbs  and  nouns,  and  had  got  through  ten  of  the  Psalms  in  Ethiopic  - all  in  one 
week”,  ibid.,  84-5.  While  writing  his  letter  of  application  to  Glasgow  University  he  spent 
considerable  time  in  “amusing  though  rather  tedious  dissertations  on  the  basis,  for 
example,  of  that  composite  language,  the  Maltese”,  and  only  with  difficulty  was 
restrained  from  including  all  this  material  in  his  application  {ibid.,  283).  What  about 
Hungarian,  which  should  have  been  a prime  example?  According  to  Brown,  John 
Duncan,  317,  the  quick  impression  made  by  Duncan  in  Hungary  rested  on  his  fluent 
Latin  - an  achievement  which  doubtless  goes  back  to  his  early  studies  at  Aberdeen. 
Indeed,  he  soon  set  himself  to  learn  the  Magyar  language,  but  “did  not  attempt  to  speak 
it,  but  confined  himself  to  the  right  understanding  of  printed  books”.  In  modem  times 
Professor  G.W.  Anderson  (in  his  article  ‘Two  Scottish  Semitists”,  Vetus  Testamentum 
Supplements  28,  1975,  xv)  referred  to  Duncan  as  “a  man  of  vast  linguistic  erudition”  and 
adds  the  anecdote  that  it  was  said  that  “he  could  talk  his  way  to  the  Wall  of  China”.  This 
“vastness”  is  what  was  thought,  and  perhaps  what  Duncan  wanted  to  be  thought.  More 
likely,  he  had  only  a smattering  of  most  of  these.  His  extremely  slight  use  of  even 
Hebrew  in  his  conversations  and  arguments  suggests  something  very  different. 

The  word  “impossible”  is  not  my  own:  I borrow  it  from  Disruption  to  Diversity: 
Edinburgh  Divinity,  1 846- 1 996, .e dd.  D.F.  Wright  and  G.D.  Badcock  (Edinburgh,  1996), 
50:  “the  orthodox  and  deeply  pious  John  Duncan  was  nevertheless  impossible 


as  a 

before  the  era  of  source  criticism  and  emendation,  he  was  a “modernist” 
in  regard  to  comparative  philology,  and  where  students  were  struggling 
with  the  simplest  rudiments  of  Hebrew  it  was  - and  still  is  - not  a good 
method  to  elucidate  it  with  examples  from  Arabic  and  Syriac.  Secondly, 
he  could  never  keep  to  the  point,  and  any  intellectual  question,  however 
minute,  caused  him  to  survey  a vast  ground  of  deep  and  metaphysical 
problems.  This  tendency  was  accentuated  by  his  failure  to  make  any 
preparation  for  almost  any  of  his  lectures.  Even  his  lecture  at  the 
inauguration  of  the  College  in  1850  was,  apparently,  prepared  only 
through  the  prescience  of  his  colleague  Dr  Buchanan,  who  went  to 
Duncan’s  house  the  evening  before  to  make  sure  that  the  lecture  was 
ready.  Not  a word  had  been  written.  He  had,  Duncan  said,  other  things 
to  attend  to  than  writing  lectures.  “But  what  else”,  Buchanan 
expostulated,  “can  you  have  to  attend  to  more  important  than  the 
preparation  of  your  lecture?”  “The  state  of  my  own  soul”  was  Duncan’s 
reply.  Buchanan  insisted  on  sitting  down,  taking  pen  and  ink  and 
forcing  Duncan  to  dictate  a lecture  to  him.* * * * * * * 8  Thirdly,  his  personal 

teacher  of  Hebrew”.  Almost  all  comments  on  his  teaching  are  adverse.  Thus  Brown, 
John  Duncan,  85:  “Of  teaching,  he  was  rarely  without  as  much  as  he  had  time  for,  but 

seldom  did  he  make  enough  by  it  to  keep  him  in  comfort  - his  intolerable  irregularity 

and  slovenly  habits  generally  losing  him  the  pupils  whom  his  known  attainments  never 
failed  to  bring  him”.  For  adverse  comments  on  his  teaching  of  Hebrew  see  the 

testimonies  of  various  former  students  collected  in  Brown,  John  Duncan,  355ff.;  cf.  358: 

“his  habits  of  mind  totally  unfitted  him  for  the  efficient  teaching  of  elementary  Hebrew, 
or  indeed  for  any  kind  of  merely  routine  work’;  360:  “the  class,  viewed  as  a class  for  the 
teaching  of  Hebrew,  was  not  very  efficiently  conducted.  Sometimes  the  thing  prescribed 

was  not  taken  up,  but  something  quite  different.  And  sometimes  a discussion  on 

something  incidentally  emerging  in  the  course  of  the  lesson  would  occupy  most  of  the 
hour”.  365:  “he  was,  in  a sense,  as  a Professor,  a failure”. 

8 Brown,  John  Duncan,  388.  Even  so,  Buchanan’s  efforts  were  not  wholly  effective. 
Even  in  its  published  form  as  “The  Theology  of  the  Old  Testament",  the  text  still 
contains  (132f.)  a portion  that  looks  like  a paragraph  but  consists  only  of  brief  lecture 
notes.  It  reads  thus: 

I will  put  enmity,  &c.  - Sacrifice  - Clothing  with  skins  - Covenant  with  Noah  - 
Covenant  with  Abraham  — His  seed  - Sacrifice  of  Isaac  - Confirmation  of  covenant 
with  Isaac  and  Jacob  - Proclamation  of  Jehovah's  name  to  Moses  - The  angel  of 
Jehovah,  who  is  himself  Jehovah  - The  whole  ceremonial  law  - High  priest  - Day 
of  atonement  - Daily  service  of  the  tabernacle  - Isaiah  liii  — Psalm  ii.,viii., 
xxii.,lxxx.,cx.,  &c. 


eccentricity  was  of  phenomenal  dimensions.9  Without  ceaseless 
vigilance  from  his  wife  he  would  never  have  known  where  he  should 
be,  what  classes  he  was  teaching,  which  students  he  was  supposed  to 
examine.10  Particularly  noted  in  the  literature  is  his  inability  to  control 
his  hours  of  sleep.  He  took  private  students  but  they  complained  that  he 
was  still  in  bed  at  the  time  when  the  lesson  began  and  went  fast  asleep 
immediately  thereafter.* 11  It  is  recorded,  conversely,  that  in  one  Hebrew 

Does  this  mean  that  Duncan  was  going  to  discuss  all  these  subjects  but  still,  when  the 
rest  of  the  lecture  had  been  dictated,  had  not  yet  formulated  what  he  was  going  to  say 
about  them? 

It  may  seem  odd  that  material  was  actually  published  in  this  form.  It  is  interesting 
therefore  that  in  the  same  volume  the  lecture  by  Dr  Alexander  Black,  the  Professor  of 
Exegetical  Theology,  ends  up  in  the  same  way  with  half  a page  of  unarticulated  lecture 
notes  (ibid.,  157f.). 

9  I do  not  guarantee  the  canonicity  of  all  the  stories  told,  some  of  which  I have  heard, 
perhaps  with  slight  variations,  of  other  Scottish  divines  of  the  same  period.  For  instance 
(A.  Moody-Stuart,  Recollections  of  the  late  John  Duncan , LL.D.  (Edinburgh,  1872), 
118):  on  his  wedding-day  his  niece  sent  him  into  his  bedroom  to  get  dressed.  The  idea  of 
being  there  may  have  suggested  the  sequence  of  undressing.  Anyway,  the  hour  for  the 
marriage  arrived  and  the  cab  was  there  to  carry  him,  but  there  was  no  sign  of  the 
bridegroom.  He  was  found  in  bed  sound  asleep  with  a Hebrew  book  in  his  hand.  Apart 
from  the  Hebrew  of  the  book,  something  similar  may  have  been  told  of  many  Scottish 

This  was,  incidentally,  his  second  marriage,  to  “a  widow  lady,  Mrs  Torrance”, 
before  he  left  Scotland  for  Pesth  (ibid.,,  66).  His  first  marriage  was  in  1837  to  Miss  Janet 
Tower  of  Aberdeen.  Note  the  following  exchange  (ibid.,  59): 

“I  believe  Miss  Tower  is  a superior  woman”,  I remarked  to  a lady  in  Glasgow.  “Of 
course”,  she  replied,  “none  but  a most  superior  woman  would  ever  marry  John 

The  first  Mrs  Duncan  died  in  1839;  see  Brown,  John  Duncan,  267ff.  Both  the  first  and 
the  second  Mrs  Duncan  are  commemorated  on  the  sides  of  his  gravestone. 

10  Moody-Stuart,  Recollections,  88f. 

1 1 Brown,  John  Duncan,  85.  So  again  ibid.,  102f.,  whose  description  is  worth  quoting 
in  full: 

I had  just  taken  my  degree,  and,  intending  to  enter  the  Divinity  Hall  in  the  following 
session,  was  anxious,  before  putting  myself  under  the  Professor  of  Hebrew,  to  get 
some  insight  into  the  language  from  one  whose  attainments  in  Oriental  literature 
were  so  well  known.  I engaged  with  Mr.  Duncan  accordingly  for  a quarter’s 
teaching,  but  being  at  that  time  in  full  employment,  he  could  only,  for  a favour,  take 
me  from  six  to  seven  in  the  morning  - an  hour  that  with  his  known  habits  gave  me 
little  hope  of  getting  much  out  of  him.  In  truth,  when  I went  to  his  class-room  half 


class  he  assisted  (as  he  thought)  a student  by  explaining  to  him  all  the 
thirteen  conjugations  of  the  Arabic  verb  and  then  following  him  into  his 
bedroom  with  additional  matter,  continuing  with  three  further  lessons 
during  the  night,  the  last  of  them  at  about  three  o’clock  in  the 

Some  of  these  aspects  are  so  extravagant  that  they  would  seem  to 
make  John  Duncan  into  a figure  of  fun.  This  would  be  a mistaken 
assessment.  What  are  the  other  sides?  One  of  them  can  be  named  with  a 
single  word:  Budapest,  or  Pesth  as  it  was  then  called.  Duncan  obviously 
struck  many  persons  of  discrimination  in  that  city  as  a man  of 
extraordinary  intellectual  authority.  He  acquired  the  confidence  of 
aristocratic  persons,  he  conversed  learnedly  with  ecclesiastics  of 
various  Catholic  and  Orthodox  persuasions,  he  was  warmly  at  home 
with  the  Hungarian  Protestants  and  did  much  for  their  church.  All  this 
from  a man  whose  background  had  been  a narrow  one,  who  had  no 
cultural  preparation  for  what  he  was  to  find  in  the  Austro-Hungarian 
empire.  The  depth  of  character  and  authority  that  the  Hungarians  saw  in 
him  must  remain  with  us  in  our  minds  today,  just  as  the  connection  of 
New  College  with  the  Hungarian  Reformed  Church  remains. 

Secondly,  the  remarkable  impact  of  Duncan  upon  the  Jews  of 
Hungary  and  their  acceptance  and  reception  of  him.  There  was 
something  in  Duncan’s  character  that  was  powerfully  worthy  of 
hearing.  Afterwards  people  called  him  “Rabbi  Duncan”,  and  they  often 
point  to  his  aphoristic  sayings.  Yet  I personally  do  not  see  much  that  is 
rabbinic  in  that  aspect  of  him:  his  sayings  are  too  obviously  deep  in 
Christian  theology,  orthodox  and  unorthodox,  or  else  in  general  culture, 
mainly  Greek  and  Latin,  some  French  and  German,  some  international 

the  hour  had  usually  elapsed  ere  he  appeared,  and  often  having  slept  in,  he  never 
appeared  at  all.  Thus  my  quarter’s  teaching  amounted  to  just  about  six  weeks  of 
broken  hours  or  half-hours.  But  beyond  all  price  were  these  hours  to  me.  His  very 
defects  as  an  elementary  teacher  of  grammar  arose  from  qualities  which  made  him 
everything  to  me.  Scarcely  had  we  got  beyond  the  alphabet  when  he  plunged  into 
dissertations  on  the  genius,  history,  and  characteristic  divergences  of  the  leading 
Semitic  tongues,  the  philosophy  of  vocalization,  etc.;  passages  from  his  great 
master,  Albert  Schultens,  were  read  and  commented  on,  and  soon  we  got  into 
Arabic,  with  Erpenius  for  our  grammatical  guide,  and  Golius  for  our  lexicon. 
Moody-Stuart,  Recollections,  89. 


philosophy.  But  I could  see  that  his  personality  gave  an  impression  such 
as  a rabbi’s  personality  gives  to  Jews,  and  if  so  that  nickname  was  not 
without  good  cause.  Both  Edersheim  and  Saphir  were  learned  and 
deeply  religious  Jews,  and  the  fact  that  they  both  became  Christians 
(and,  eventually,  Christian  ministers)  within  a year  or  two  of  Duncan’s 
arrival  must  mean  something  extremely  unusual. 

I end  where  I began,  with  his  personal  piety,  which  is  what  struck 
people  at  the  time,  people  who  could  judge  better  of  that  than  they 
could  of  his  learning.  Whatever  he  gained  from  his  adventures  in 
atheism  and  unorthodoxy  - if  these  adventures  ever  really  took  place  - 
he  seems  to  have  ended  up  with  a combination  of  Calvinist  orthodoxy 
and  a highly  personal  piety.  And  this  was  what  impressed  people.  I 
already  mentioned  how,  when  he  should  have  been  preparing  the  most 
important  lecture  of  his  career,  he  said  he  had  his  own  soul  to  worry 
about.  Similarly,  it  was  customary  for  lectures  to  begin  with  a short 
prayer.  In  Duncan’s  classes,  however,  these  prayers  were  often  long 
extended,  and  indeed  it  is  recorded  that  on  some  occasions  only  the  bell 
which  ended  the  lecture  period  made  him  aware  that  the  lecture  had  not 
in  fact  begun.13  Strongly  convinced  as  he  was,  he  was  conscious  also  of 
the  times  of  doubt,  dejection  and  desperation  in  his  past.14  If  he  had 
been  a systematic  thinker  he  might  have  ended  up  on  one  side,  if  he  had 

Brown,  John  Duncan,  362:  “On  one  occasion  the  prayer  that  should  have  preceded 
the  lesson  prolonged  itself  for  the  whole  hour,  and  it  was  only  the  ringing  of  the  bell  at 
the  end  of  the  hour  that  awoke  him  to  a remembrance  of  the  actual  circumstances  of  the 

case”.  Cf.  Also  ibid.,  371. 


I leave  to  a footnote  a question  that  it  would  be  distasteful  to  raise  in  this  speech 
itself:  namely,  whether  the  reputation  for  humility  in  which  Duncan  was  so  often  held 
was  deserved.  “Of  a lowly  and  loving  spirit”  is  the  wording  of  the  gravestone,  and  this 
rightly  expresses  the  feeling  which  he  left  behind  him  in  the  hearts  of  thousands. 
Humility  was  an  essential  part  of  his  Calvinistic  piety.  Did  it  apply,  however,  in  equal 
measure  to  his  awareness  of  his  own  knowledge ? Brown  reveals  another  side  when  he 
relates  the  composition  of  the  famous  letter  applying  for  the  Glasgow  professorship.  He 
writes  ( John  Duncan,  282f.):  “It  would  have  astonished  and  amused  any  one  who  did  not 
know  that  most  marked  feature  in  his  character,  his  consciousness  of  power  in  whatever 
department  of  knowledge  he  had  mastered  - whether  Languages,  Philosophy,  Theology, 
or  even  General  Literature  - to  hear  how,  humble  though  he  was  and  eminently  modest, 
he  could  dilate  on  his  attainments,  his  superiority  to  all  he  knew  in  this,  to  all  but  one  or 
possibly  two  in  that,  and  so  on”. 


followed  out  his  biblical  studies  more  methodically  he  might  have 
moved  in  a different  direction  altogether,  as  some  colleagues  and 
successors  were  to  do.  As  it  was,  he  remains  a highly  idiosyncratic 
figure  and  a monument  in  one  person  to  the  union  of  many  sides  in 
Scottish  culture  as  it  was  in  that  time. 

Vanderbilt  Divinity  School, 
Nashville,  Tennessee 


Article  “Duncan,  John”,  Dictionary  of  National  Biography  xvi.  167-8, 
by  “W.G.B.”  (W.  Garden  Blaikie) 

D.  Brown,  Life  of  the  late  John  Duncan,  Ll.D  (Edinburgh,  1872) 

J.  Duncan,  “The  Theology  of  the  Old  Testament”,  in  Inauguration  of 
the  New  College  of  the  Free  Church,  Edinburgh , ed.  W.  Cunningham 
(London  and  Edinburgh,  1851),  123-42 

W.  Knight,  Colloquia  Peripatetica  ( Deep-Sea  Soundings),  being  Notes 
of  Conversations  by  the  late  John  Duncan,  Ll.d  with  the  Rev  William 
Knight  (Edinburgh,  1873) 

A.  Moody-Stuart,  Recollections  of  the  late  John  Duncan,  Ll.D 
(Edinburgh,  1872) 

Disruption  to  Diversity:  Edinburgh  Divinity,  1846-1996,  edd.  D.F. 
Wright  and  G.D.  Badcock  (Edinburgh,  1996)